Spanish and Latin American Food Fiesta 2013 Review

Spanish-latin-american-festival-1Last Saturday I went along to the annual Spanish and Latin American Food Fiesta in Spencer Street, Fairfield. I found out about this festival a couple of weeks ago when I was driving through Fairfield – there it was – on a giant banner, the words Spanish and Latin American Food Fiesta. So old school right?

In general, Spanish and Latin American people are pretty passionate people. Whether it be the way they dance to Latin music, or the spices in their cooking or the love they have for soccer – Latins are hot, blooded creatures. Gloria’s character on Modern Family may be an over the top stereotype of a hot-blooded Latin woman, but really, only a little bit. 🙂

Growing up, this is pretty much what I experienced. Waking up to my Mother’s loud conversations to her family in South America in early hours of the morning, the way my Grandpa would go to ‘la cancha’ (the soccer field) every weekend to meet his friends to ‘charla’ (talk) or even spending hours helping my Mother and Grandmother cook ñoquis (gnocchi) that we celebrated every 29th of the month. It’s based on the Italian migrants custom and for many Uruguayan’s became an adopted custom. The accompanying ritual of putting money under the plate symbolizes the desire for new gifts.

Spanish-latin-american-festival-4It was exciting to see Miguel Maestre support this event as it supports his passion in celebrating his culture and his passion in cooking. As a popular TV chef with a loveable charisma, it was all eyes on Miguel.

Spanish-latin-american-festival-19 We got up close and personal with Miguel as he prepared for his cooking demonstration. Miguel was so lovely and was happy to pose for a quick photo and do a meet and greet with his fans. It was so cute seeing a lady pull out a plastic bag and what looked to be a jumper that she was giving him. As you can probably tell, he is quite the ladies man!

Spanish-latin-american-festival-16The queue for Seafood Paella was insane. It snaked around the whole stall. Regrettably, I couldn’t be bothered to wait, but it looked and smelled amazing.

Spanish-latin-american-festival-21Woah, look at the size of that Paella. The festival caused quite a stir and even some Brazilian dancers came down and paid a visit. These girls are so gorgeous up close. Not only do they dress up well, they are crazy fit with rock hard abs. Must be all that Brazilian dancing!

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Spanish-latin-american-festival-20On the left, a sugar cane stand sold it sweet or sour for an extra 50cents. In the middle, Spanish bakery legend La Torre Cake Shop offers patrons some deliciously tempting South American sweets. On the right, a Spanish tapas pop up had quite a following also as they prepped a number of popular tasty dishes.

Spanish-latin-american-festival-10Next stop, Brazilian BBQ. There was a choice between BBQ pork belly or chorizo. Yum!

Spanish-latin-american-festival-11The smell coming from the BBQ was just incredible. I’ve never tried pork belly like this, it was a bit fatty, but oh so tasty.

Spanish-latin-american-festival-6I got the BBQ Pork Belly ($8) with caramelised onions and roasted capsicum. Yum!

Spanish-latin-american-festival-5Also the Chorizo al pan ($8) with caramelised onions and roasted capsicum, was oh so delicious.

Spanish-latin-american-festival-3This store cute, handmade goodies all the way from Peru. There were so many alpaca fleeced items including rugs, bags, ponchos and even finger puppets.

Spanish-latin-american-festival-17I have a real soft spot for cultural tapestries and textile. Isn’t this runner just beautiful?

Spanish-latin-american-festival-9I love that in the middle of the festival, people could play a little bit of street soccer. Some of the best soccer players are South American – so there must be something in the water.

Spanish-latin-american-festival-15 Spanish-latin-american-festival-12 Spanish-latin-american-festival-13Toward the back end of the street party, some talented performers grabbed an audience member and taught her how to shake her bon bon.

Spanish-latin-american-festival-8 The boys and men line up to get a quick photo with some Brazilian beauties.

Spanish-latin-american-festival-2I know the festival is a little cosy as it’s only located on one street within Fairfield, but I think what it lacks in size, it makes up for in heart…awww… I thought that it really managed to capture the spirit, the energy, the food and the joy that the Latin American culture brings to this community.

Love, Festival Girl.